STATE TIMES REPORT
JAMMU: Notwithstanding change of guard, politicking in Health and Medical Education Department are refusing to die down in Jammu and Kashmir. In a classic example of erasing the ‘stigma’ attached to a senior faculty member, in the wake of acts of omission and commission, the government on Friday rewarded, as also reprieved Dr Ashutosh Gupta, Professor, Radio Therapy, GMC, Jammu.
In, what is termed as a game of musical chairs between the senior most faculty members of Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu, the coveted position of the Incharge Principal, Government Medical College, Doda saw three changes taking place in the past three days.
The Governor’s administration has issued three orders, purportedly at the behest of ‘well connected’ senior most faculty members.
According to the government order, issued on 4th July, five Principals for these new colleges at Kathua, Doda, Rajouri, Anantnag and Baramulla were appointed. The intent behind the move was to put in place basic infrastructure to start academic session of these colleges from this year.
Initially Dr Ghanshyam Dev, Professor Radio Diagnosis, GMC, Jammu was made I/C PrincIpal, GMC, Doda. However, on July 5, in partial modification of the order issued on July 4, Dr Ashutosh Gupta, Professor, Radio Therapy, GMC, Jammu was assigned the job of I/C Principal, GMC Doda. Meanwhile, reliable sources told STATE TIMES that on July 6, Prof Ashutosh managed to get the order modifed once again to suit his interest. Now in his place, another senior faculty member Dr Tariq Parvez Azad, Professor Surgery, GMC Jammu has been made I/C of GMC, Doda.
In the wake of these developments, serious question marks have been raised about the working of the administration and clout enjoyed by these faculty members.
Eyebrows were raised when Dr Ashutosh was elevated to the post of I/C Principal GMC, Doda despite several allegations against him.
RTI activist Som Nath Dabgotra has expressed anguish over the goof-up even during the Governor’s rule by the senior most bureaucrats, who failed in presenting facts before the State Administrative Council (SAC).
“Had the newly appointed Advisor K Vijay Kumar known about the credentials of Dr Ashutosh Gupta, his promotion for a newly sanctioned GMC would not have been made,” lamented Dabgotra.
On July 11, 2017, the GMC Jammu had been hit by ‘cash-for-pain’ scam with four exploited cancer patients found in a private clinic rather than the cancer ward. These patients had been admitted in the GMC Hospital on record but were allegedly found by the sleuths of State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) in private clinic run by the Head of Department (HoD), Department of Oncology, GMC Jammu Dr Ashutosh Gupta. The sleuths had carried out a raid at Jammu Oncology Clinic, Talab Tillo on a complaint reportedly forwarded by the then Health Minister Bali Bhagat.
According to SVO, Dr Ashutosh Gupta, HOD was allegedly found treating the patients at his private clinic set up on the name of his father Ved Pal Gupta. The Vigilance team was told that Dr Ashutosh had charged Rs 3.50 lakh from a stage-IV patient, who was enrolled/admitted in GMC and later asked to undertake treatment at his private clinic. On January 5, 2018, Dr Ashutosh Gupta was placed under suspension following a Vigilance raid at his private clinic and later re-instated.
By appointing Dr Ashutosh Gupta Incharge GMC Principal at Doda, a sort of respectability had been accorded to him but this converted posting would have impacted his thriving practice in Jammu. Therefore, he is reported to have proposed for his retention back in Jammu which the Governor’s administration readily disposed off in his favour. There could be no better reprieve for this for Dr Ashutosh Gupta.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper